MLB players oppose closing of unionized cap plant

NEW YORK (AP) — The baseball players’ union is urging the sport’s exclusive cap supplier to keep open its plant in Derby, New York, and not move production to a non-unionized facility in Florida.

New Era Cap Co. said in November it was planning to shut the site in March and reached a closing agreement with the union last month. New Era has been Major League Baseball’s cap supplier since 1993.

MLB caps are less than 2 percent of New Era’s total. The company said it will move production to Hialeah, Florida, and its non-MLB production “would be absorbed by our existing global supply network.”

The Major League Baseball Players Association said Thursday the decision will “cause economic harm” to the workers and Derby, which is outside Buffalo.

New Era said it made the decision to “more closely align its business model with its competitors in the global sports, lifestyle and apparel industry” and said it was among the last companies in the industry to own its plants.

The company said the move is “not about chasing lower, ‘non-union’ wages, as has been erroneously reported.”